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Best T5's for planted tank

5 Feb 2012
Colchester Essex
I have a Juwel Trigon 190 which has 2 x 590mm T5 tubes. They are in need of replacement because of age. My tank is planted and I want to know what are the best tubes to buy ( I have no clue about light spectrum??? ) Can I only buy Juwel tubes or are there other brands that manufacture tubes this size and which are the best to buy as there are so many different types?
They are in need of replacement because of age
No, they're not. Age is never a good reason to replace your bulbs. There are only two reasons to replace your bulbs:
1. You do not like the color.
2. They are broken.

Save your money and continue using the bulbs, unless you don't like them. Spectrum is irrelevant from the plants point of view.

Hi clive, completely agree with what you have just said. Can i ask a simple question to you though. Colour becomes paler and the spectrum alters. Not irrelevant. But does par rating drop too? I know this still doesn't matter as if it did it would be such a slow process the plants of course would adapt to suit what is given, but am i right in thinking this?

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Hi Jack,
The plants do not care if color becomes paler and if spectrum alters. This is completely irrelevant to them because they simply adjust the ratio and content of their leaf pigments to match the inbound spectrum. Plants adjust to spectrum. I think that's what people have difficulty understanding. Plants even have the ability to convert one color to another in order to satisfy their needs, so people running around in a hysteria about spectrum change are wasting time, energy and money because whatever spectrum you provide will be optimized by the tailoring of specific pigment proteins (and quantity/density of those pigments) that match the current spectral environment. If you change the spectrum then the plants easily make the adjustments. It's very easy for them. This is so easy for them that you never need to worry about it...ever. You only need to worry about it if YOU don't like the colors.

More reading in the threads:
Do t8 lights really degrade over time? | UK Aquatic Plant Society
Cheap T5 at my local hardware. | UK Aquatic Plant Society
actinic lighting vs algae growth | UK Aquatic Plant Society

Cheers clive. I shouldnt of put irrelevant. I meant relevant! Typo. But thanks for the in depth answer. Very helpful. Cheers

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I wish that I'd known this a few years back. It would have saved me a stack of cash.
Yeah me too. I've already replaced them twice since I bought the tank. I was told to replace them every six months. I think I even read this in PFK???